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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Question about glass fishing float find...
Question about glass fishing float find...
TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-08 3:37 pm   Permalink

Hey all, I've been looking for a large fishing float to hang from an A frame beam on my back patio. I found one at a local antique shop but I'm having trouble determining if it's genuine or not (I haven't bought it yet). It's about 10" in diameter, green in color and has a heavy rope tied off exactly like the below picture (the below picture is not the one I found, this is a pic I stole off of eBay). There are a couple of things that make me suspicious. 1- it has no evidence that it has ever seen the water. It -looks- old, but there's no sand, crud or discoloration. 2- it appears to have a seam around the glass as if two glass halves were joined together. It has a pontil (spelling?) similar to the one below, but the seam makes me think it's not hand blown. I am definitely no expert on these and actually I don't particularly care if it's not genuine, I just want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off. They want 70 bucks for it. So do you think it's genuine, and even if it's fake is that price reasonable for a good fake? Thanks for the help!




[ This Message was edited by: TikiTres 2008-07-08 15:37 ]


 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1431
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2008-07-08 6:03 pm   Permalink

Sounds like the real deal to me. If it looks very close to the pic above, then it's probably the real deal. I have seen many vintage ones, and have a couple that I picked up from the Trader Vic's warehouse sale that were also vintage, and none of them look like they have been floating in the ocean for 50 years.



Most of them look a little worn, but it's usually just dust and grime buildup. They clean up nicely, to the point of looking brand new. And just about all of the older thicker ones that I have seen have some kind of seam on them - I'm guessing that maybe they were (machine) blown into some kind of mold - maybe someone here with more knowledge can elaborate.

If it's colored glass, really thick and fairly heavy, like it could withstand banging against a couple other similar floats in the ocean, then it's most likely the real deal. Most of the thinner ones that look like they were hand blown are for decorative purposes, and a lot of the newer ones like that are clearer in color, and when you look at one you can tell the difference. To me that seems to be a fair price for that float, if not a bargain.
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"It's Mai Tai. It's out of this world." - Victor Jules Bergeron Jr.


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2127
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2008-07-08 6:15 pm   Permalink

Seventy bucks for a 10 inch float is about right. See if you can talk them down any.

If there is an apparent seam around glass that is half-way away from the pontil then it was not 'hand-blown.' But that doesn't usually add or subtract any from the price, so it is more a preference on your part.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-08 8:41 pm   Permalink

It doesn't HAVE to be a real float...just an old one. Like I showed here before, many Polynesian restaurants had lightweight float lamps made out of fiberglass or resin, hanging in thin netting--and they looked really cool. Those are actually harder to find nowadays, because they were Polynesian pop-specific. Remember, Tiki is FAKE-Polynesia.

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-08 9:05 pm   Permalink

Thanks guys, I appreciate it! This sucker was very heavy, it definitely felt like thick glass. I've got a few of those cheapo thin glass knockoffs that Hobby Town sells and this was nothing like those. I did some 'net searches and ran across a site that said that some floats were hand blown into a two piece (or sometimes a 3 piece) wooden mold. The mold was used to keep them from getting out of shape. So I described it as a "seam" in my earlier post, but it's really a mold line. That makes sense as the line in the glass of the one I was looking at was barely perceptable, I had to hold it up to the light to see it.

Mai Tai, wow those are some mondo floats! Cool!

Chip and Andy, thanks, I'll try and talk them down a bit

BigBro, good point, I had not even considered the fact that this could have been hanging in a restaurant or bar somewhere for decades! That actually fits pretty well, it looks old, but doesn't look like it's been sitting outside.

Hopefully I can go by tomorrow and snag it, I'll post pics when I get it home



 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1431
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2008-07-09 01:06 am   Permalink

Bigbro makes a good point that a lot of these floats were made strictly for decorative purposes, and were never meant to be in the ocean. They can still be vintage though. Most of those are thin, like interior glass globe fixture thinness, but have cool vintage colors like orange or gold or frost aqua blue. A lot of those didn't even have rope, but instead have a "netting" made out of rattan or similar material. Here's a bunch of vintage ones from the Trader Vic's warehouse sale.









Here's a cool vintage one that Midnite Tiki picked up. Note the cool orange/gold color, and the rattan netting.


This last one is also from the Trader Vic's warehouse sale, and it's a brand new repro. You can really tell when you look at it up close, the glass is thinner and not of very good quality for something that would have been in the ocean. Check out that lousy pontil too. Also, the rope is some super cheapo lousy quality stuff that looks more like twine, rather than good quality with lots of intricate knots, or even that rattan stuff. (No offense intended to the person who bought this, though!).


I agree that you should see if you can get them to lower the price on yours by $10 to $20 bucks. If not, then it's still a good deal, and you don't have to worry about paying for shipping and insurance, or risk it being broken while in transit. Since it's thick and heavy, I'm guessing it was a real float, but used for decorative purposes only. You should ask them if they know where it came from, and if it was from any restaurant or bar. And show us pics!
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"It's Mai Tai. It's out of this world." - Victor Jules Bergeron Jr.


 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-09 1:48 pm   Permalink

Wow, thanks for all the pics Mai Tai, those are some amazing floats!!!

Well I went back all prepped to plunk down the cash on that float, but there were a few problems. 1- it is not as big as I remembered. I measured it and it is closer to 8" diameter. 2- it does appear to be a modern Chinese knockoff. My memory (I spotted this a little over a week ago) was that it has a chipped pontil similar to the eBay photo I posted at the top, but in actuality it's more like a protruding button and it has the telltale recessed anchor symbol common on the knockoffs. I sure didn't remember seeing that before, I didn't remember any symbols on it at all! 3- it was marked higher than I remembered too, it was marked as 20% off of 95.00 or 76.00. I didn't try to talk them down as they were working in another building (this store spans two giant warehouses) and it seemed way overpriced considering it's a modern knockoff and it's not that big. Oh well, the hunt continues Thanks again for all the input!


 
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